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ecotopia

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Reply with quote  #1 
I'm posting those picture for your enjoyment and because I have a questions concerning why there is a difference between those 3 sitars.

http://smg.photobucket.com/user/volks16valves/library/My%203%20Sitars

Red one= vintage
bigger= bombay ( at least 30 years old)
other one = RKS model L #377 (year = dunno)

why does the RKS is the one why less sympathetic response?
why does the "vintage" and RKS sounds is not as loud as the bombay one?


is it the bridge?
is it the wood used for Tabali?
is it the strings size and length between the 2 contacts (tension)?

what is it? I need scientific response and professional opinion. thanks!
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chrisitar

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Reply with quote  #2 
Yikes, those bridges look glued on! Say it aint so!
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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #3 
It's no wonder you've got complaints about the sound. You've lost half of it just in the bridge legs. The red leg bridge is especially bad. Get those bridges right off. With a 1/2" flat chisel, carefully scrape the glue and crud off the tabli - all of it. Next - scrap the crud from the soles of the bridge legs. Next - get a strip of sandpaper (#150 grit should do) 2" x 6" - 8". Set that sandpaper strip grit side up on the tabli, perpendicular to the string lines and right over the bridge leg scars. Get the loose strings out of the way anyway that works for you. Set the bridge in its normal position on the sandpaper. Left hand now holds down the sandpaper on the ends while you drag the bridge back and forth across the sandpaper. Look at the skid marks growing on the sandpaper. When you can see a solid width of sawdust produced from both bridge legs, remove all the goodies, set the bridge on the tabli where you think it should go and look for light leaks between the legs and the tabli. When you've got solid contact, you're half way home. Here's now a cool thing to do - with a 1/2 round file, shape the bridge leg bottoms ever so lightly like the bottoms of your feet. This gives the legs a little breathability while still maintaining a solid foot print on the tabli. String it up and lets hear how it sounds. This leg sanding is a quick, slick and dirty way of opening or closing a bridge. If you inadvertantly lean one way, favor the closed side - that is making the slotted side a little lower than the leading edge. Taraf bridge- just clean the crud off, sand as needed and also check the surface / string angle. Regardless - all three of your sitars need this treatment.
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OM GUY

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Reply with quote  #4 
Don't feel too bad, ecotopia, I once bought a tanpura for cheap, simply because the guy said he couldn't get it to buzz correctly.

Of course not, because he put double-backed tape between the feet of the bridge and the tabli to make it stop moving on him! It was very thin, but when I got it home it looked like elephant-grey snot-pucky, oosing out from under the bridge.

But, thanks to someone here on the forum, he saved the day by performing a little surgery and filing and it couldn't sound better.

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ecotopia

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Reply with quote  #5 
So If I understand well you'all have a free floating bridge and he's not moving when you play?
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AllenDS

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "ecotopia"
So If I understand well you'all have a free floating bridge and he's not moving when you play?
I'll be corrected if I'm wrong, but:

Normal string tension + even contact = snug fit

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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #7 
An unglued main bridge will work its way toward the frets if that bridge is tall and the string angle is very acute from the slots to the tail piece. That bridge will also go for a drive if the tail piece is on or near the instruments centerline (such as it is). Like Robin Hoods bow, the bridge will go meend side in a hurry. Glue now steps in to keep the bridge in its proper position. The other option is pins in the middle of the bridge leg bottoms or the Rikhi Ram twin pin rig on the meend side bridge leg. In a pinch of desparation, a lateral shift of the main bridge can be reduced by rerouting the strings as they come off the tail piece. In extreme cases, the tailpiece can be relocated peg side by 1/2" - 3/4". Back to the glue question - with the leg bottoms shaped to match their contact point on the tabli, a light smear, light, that is, weere talkin' lieeeeght put sparingly on will do the job.
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ecotopia

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Reply with quote  #8 
ok everbody, all the 4 bridges that were glued are now unglued and sit in there right position. both sitar gain sympathetic response, the one who gain the most is the RKS. the other already got a good response but I unglued it anyway to get the best out of it.

the sanding part was a bit touchy but I've manage to get a proper contact by putting encent ash on the tabli and checking where it was touching, then sanding more where I got ash spot.
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ecotopia

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Reply with quote  #9 
else from the past incident, is there other thing I could do to make the sitar more response?

Strings size matter?
smaller better?
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OM GUY

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "ecotopia"
else from the past incident, is there other thing I could do to make the sitar more response?

Strings size matter?
smaller better?
I think you need to define what you mean by "more response". Exactly what are you looking for?

I also think it's safe to say that each sitar is different, so string size, is certainly a factor, as is Sa. Some sitars sound better at either C, C#, and D, than others.
Even slight movements of the frets, up or down can sweeten the taraf responses.

Once you get accustomed to the sitar, you can start to experiment a bit with different strings on the mains to get the responses that you are looking for.

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OM GUY

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "ecotopia"
So If I understand well you'all have a free floating bridge and he's not moving when you play?
Since I was not at all experienced with bridge work at the time, I had someone here look at it. After the grey snot was removed ( with plenty of head shaking), the bridge was sanded so it made contact in the manner of what Tony was talking about. There was a very tiny amount of adhesive placed on the bridge of the tanpura and hasn't moved in 3 years.

Some folks like to use tiny drops of shellac to keep bridges in place, though I've never tried that method. Most of my sitars have bone "pins" at the 2 corners of the bridge, facing the dand side.

When replacing the strings, some like to outline the both upper and lower bridges with pencil marks so that you can line them back up following replacement of the strings. Some folks I've heard use a knife to make the out-line, but I'd be afraid of making my girls scream. Instead, I use that blue painters tape. It doesn't leave any marks. Plus, my old eyes can barely make out pencil lines on the dark wood.

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cwroyds

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Reply with quote  #12 
Sympathetic string response can also be all about tuning.
Your strings and frets have to be properly in tune before the Sympathetic strings will react.
Even a masterful sitar will lack response if out of tune.

Tune your sympathetic strings first. Get them as perfectly in tune as possible.
Then tune the seven main strings. Make sure the Ma string is right on the money.
Then fret the Ma string at each fret and tune the frets by moving them up or down the neck a tiny amount.
You might be surprise how many frets are slightly out of tune.

Once your fretted notes match the tuning of the sympathetic strings they should ring out.
If they don't you might have a bad jawari on the small bridge.
You can try slipping a single piece of paper under the back of the bridge which should open up the jawari temporarily so you can see if the sympathetic strings ring out.
That will show you it is just a jawari job that is needed.

Other than that, some sitars just dont have a great response from the sympathetic strings.
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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #13 
Glad to hear progress is being made in tickling the babies. I use the blue tape trick as well. Great stuff. While on a Washington DC jawari junket, Dr. Brian Silver turned me on to (just short of a twisted arm) using .010 steel wire for all the tarafs and chikari. I converted my sitar squad from .009 to .010 and the improvement in sustain, volume, etc. was thrilling ! I highly recommend such a switch for your three babies. I'm certain your ears will be smiling ! Definately get the frets accurately calibrated and all the strings in tune. Ahhh, such fun ! ! !
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ecotopia

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "OM

I think you need to define what you mean by "more response". Exactly what are you looking for?

[/color][/b]
Response from the sympathetic
Quote:
Originally Posted by "cwroyds"
You can try slipping a single piece of paper under the back of the bridge which should open up the jawari temporarily so you can see if the sympathetic strings ring out.
That will show you it is just a jawari job that is needed.

Other than that, some sitars just dont have a great response from the sympathetic strings.
great tip, I'll try it. should the small jawari be full open ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Sitarfixer"
I converted my sitar squad from .009 to .010 and the improvement in sustain, volume, etc. !
Physically the energy to make a larger string vibrate higer than a smaller string, so my question is, did you loose response?

other than that I'm a engineer so I like to do my work the most accurate way possible so I use an electronic tuner to tune the MA string right on, then I adust the fret to their right note. It's normally always working well but sometimes I found that some sympathetic response better than others.

should the high SA (chikari) be buzzing (full open jawari type)? cause on the RKS it is right now. she very very sensible to and start buzzing at practicly any note.
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